Posted October 02, 2018 02:03:06 The discovery of a cache of rare and rare-earth elements at a burial site has led researchers to suspect a new, and very ancient, culture existed in the region.
“The find is significant because we think there’s a possibility that there was a new culture that lived there, and the people who were buried there were able to make this discovery,” said Dr. David M. Gossett, a professor of geochemistry at the University of Florida who has been researching ancient steatites for more than a decade.
“It’s a very interesting discovery because we know the type of rock, the age of the rock, we can say that the ancient steapite pipe is older than we previously thought,” Gossets told CBC News in an interview.
Gosh, a pipe from the ancient world, is a pipe made of carbonate minerals, such as manganese and iron.
A sample of the pipe is being analyzed by a team from the University at Buffalo, who are using a technique called metallogeny analysis to determine the ages of the samples.
That analysis uses isotopes in the samples to date them to the ancient era, which is when the ancient culture existed.
It’s the first time Gosset’s team has found carbonate deposits at a site, he said.
“We’ve been looking at ancient samples for a long time and never have we found a very, very rare occurrence of carbonates at a new site, and that’s really exciting,” Gosh said.
A pipe from a steapet, a type of ancient ceramic pipe, from the area.
Image: Dr. James Gossetts/University at Buffalo